About Male Cancers

Gary Burgess - ITV Channel Television Presenter

I was 23 and working for a local radio station when I watched a programme on television about checking your testicles. At the time it was pretty ground breaking to be showing that kind of thing on TV. That night I decided I should check my balls and was shocked to find a lump. My first reaction was that it was cancer and I felt very alone and very scared. I visited the doctor and was quickly referred for an ultrasound scan, which confirmed my worst fears. In fact, more bad news was to come as further tests revealed it had spread to my stomach, chest and lungs. Surgery was followed by three gruelling months of chemotherapy that were tough. I realise now that had I checked my balls earlier we might have caught the cancer before it spread, but equally had I not watched that programme and checked myself that night I might not be here now. My story could have been very different.

I finished the chemotherapy treatment 14 years ago and after many check-ups, 10 years later I was given the all clear. It's time men stopped worrying about any stigma and shake off any embarrassment. Delaying a trip to the doctor could cost you your life.

Gary Burgess